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Features / November 11, 2019

Overcoming the regeneration challenge

by Siobhan Hiscott

Perio Master Clinic 2020 will be coming to Dublin next March. Ahead of the event, organiser Declan Corcoran shares some of the opportunities on offer to attendees

The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) will be bringing its Perio Master Clinic 2020 to Dublin in March next year, and will provide clinicians with an exciting opportunity to learn from leading experts in periodontal regeneration and explore advanced surgical skills.

With registration for the limited-numbers event now open, organiser Declan Corcoran explains how regeneration is the ultimate challenge faced by the clinician, and how the Dublin master clinic will provide a complete overview of the latest in regeneration procedures.

Who is the Perio Master Clinic aimed at? Who would benefit from attending?

The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) Perio Master Clinic is aimed at all dentists who have an interest in the management of the hard and soft tissues around teeth and implants.

All dentists who either place or restore implants will benefit from attending the event. This will be a clinically orientated meeting with all presentations featuring top-class clinical slides and videos.

What can participants look forward to at Perio Master Clinic 2020?

It is a unique opportunity over two days to witness the best speakers on regeneration in periodontics – all experts in their own field. There are no weak links in the line-up of speakers, who have all been chosen based on past performance at international meetings.

Over two days, delegates can expect to receive a complete overview of the field of regeneration and uniquely witness high-quality videos that will highlight the practicalities of the procedures.

The topic of the conference is ‘Hard- and soft-tissue reconstruction around teeth and implants: current and future challenges’. Who came up with the topic?

The topic of the conference emerged following a detailed discussion between the Irish Society of Periodontology and Professor Anton Sculean from Berne, Switzerland. There then followed a bidding process at the EFP and the Irish delegation, under my own chairmanship, emerged victorious in securing the conference for Ireland.

The Irish representative at the European Federation of Periodontology, Dr Tiernan O’Brien, said: ‘Professor Sculean is a world leader in periodontal regeneration and… the obvious candidate to be selected by us to be scientific chair of this conference’.

As the chair of the meeting, I’ve been working very closely with conference organisers Mondial, based in Vienna, to ensure that this will be a most memorable conference for all.

How did you devise the programme?

There are so many aspects when considering periodontal reconstruction around teeth and implants – and all of these issues will be covered at this conference. We need to consider the following:

How do we deal with single-tooth or multiple-tooth gingival recessions?

What materials do we use and which are preferable – autografts or xenografts?

How to manage flap design (a whole session will be devoted to this topic)

The techniques involved in lateral and vertical bone augmentation.

One of the highlights of the conference should be the session devoted to when to reconstruct and save a tooth versus the decision to extract and replace with implant.

Dr Ronan Allen, a periodontist practising in Dublin, will address the topic of ‘Tissue augmentation and aesthetic implant placement’. This has been a subject dear to Ronan’s heart for many years now and it will no doubt be a world-class presentation.

There will be presentations on soft tissue grafting before, during and after implant placement.

To add spice to proceedings, a big party is planned for the Friday immediately after the lectures in the RDS itself. And it’s all included in the registration fee. It’s an occasion not to be missed!

What are the most important issues for clinicians surrounding the event’s topic?

The ultimate goal of periodontics is to regenerate the tissues around teeth that have lost periodontal support, yet hard- and soft-tissue reconstruction represents a big challenge for the clinician.

The scientific and clinical evidence has proven that reconstructive techniques improve long-term prognosis, aesthetics, and quality of life for patients. The increasingly advanced understanding of biology and biomaterials has helped create novel treatment concepts leading to predictable outcomes.

Yet regeneration is the ultimate challenge faced by the clinician – it tests the clinical skills of the operator to the limits. Every day, every hour of our working lives we are faced with clinical situations that could benefit from regenerative techniques. But the question is: do we have the clinical skills or the confidence to carry these out for our patients?

We need to build up clinical skills so that we can offer these procedures to our patients with the prospect of long-term success and with an acceptable degree of safety. It is only by developing our skills that we will begin to be able to offer these advanced surgical techniques to our patients.

So, Perio Master Clinic 2020 will help the delegates gain these skills and the confidence to deploy them. The aim is to set the stage for predictable reconstructive procedures, asking the questions of why deploy them, when to use them, which techniques to adopt, and how do perform them. These topics have not been addressed in previous editions of the Perio Master Clinic.

In addition to the two-day master clinic (6 and 7 March), a day of hands-on workshops has been added (5 March). Why has this been done and what do these workshops add to the overall event?

As the conference will be showing off high-end clinical techniques, all the delegates will be very eager to see if they can accomplish the same results in their own dental surgeries. These workshops will afford the delegates the opportunity to try out these surgical techniques to see if they work for them.

As the lectures are so practically orientated, the logical next step for the delegates will be to see if they can carry out these procedures themselves, and the workshops will provide a glorious opportunity.

Why should clinicians attend?

Many of us attend conferences and lectures that are research based that prove to be very challenging to grasp. We come away from the conference very often questioning of what clinical relevance were the presentations.

While we all appreciate the central role that evidence-based research plays in the development of our profession, there is also great merit in witnessing new techniques developed by experts who are at the cutting edge of clinical practice. Very often the emergence of these new clinical techniques influences the pathways for future research. The Perio Master Clinic will be heavily weighted towards addressing the clinical challenges that we all face in our daily practice.

Delegates should come away from the conference with a sense of satisfaction, knowing that their time away from practice will have been well spent. And, of course, it will go a long way towards fulfilling your CPD requirements.

What does the Perio Master Clinic 2020 format offer that is different from other conferences, courses, and workshops?

Nowadays, there is such a selection of courses on offer every year for the clinician to choose from. So how are we to choose which one to go to?

The topic would be of prime importance, and Perio Master Clinic 2020 scores very well in this regard as there has not been any recent conference that has dealt solely with hard- and soft-tissue regeneration around teeth and implants.

This conference will include:

Reconstructive concepts in intrabony defects and furcation defects

Soft-tissue grafting around teeth and implants

Discussion of novel concepts with an outlook to the future

The key issue of the choice between reconstructive surgery around a compromised tooth versus extraction and implant placement

Socket grafting

Ridge augmentation – both lateral and vertical

An interactive debate on the management of complications in relation to reconstructive surgery around teeth and implants.

In other words, the delegate can expect to be enlightened on every conceivable aspect of regeneration around teeth and implants. What is more, it is a single-track conference, which means that delegates will be able to attend every single lecture.

All the speakers are of international quality, have lectured on many occasions, and have been chosen for this conference because of their clarity of thought, their expertise in presentation, and their vast experience. No one in the audience will be nodding off listening to these speakers!

What does the programme offer to tear rugby fans away from the Six Nations?

While rugby aficionados will be rehashing the trials and tribulations of the World Cup experience (against up and coming opponents, Italy), delegates at the conference at the last session on the Saturday will be treated to an interactive debate conducted by world leaders in the form of Daniel Buser, Markus Hürzeler, and Kevin Murphy, on the theme of ‘Complication management after reconstructive surgery at natural teeth and dental implants’.

It will be a positive, not-to-be-repeated experience at the historic venue of the Royal Dublin Society, unlike the predictable runabout involving an oval ball at the Aviva.

You’d be mad to miss out on an international conference on your own doorstep.

If someone is thinking about coming to Dublin for Perio Master Clinic 2020 but is still not sure – what would you say to convince them?

I assure you if you come to Dublin you won’t regret it. We promise to give you a memorable learning experience in such a friendly, enjoyable atmosphere. Being a smaller congress, it will afford you the opportunity to positively interact with the other delegates and the speakers.

All the hotels are conveniently located near the congress venue. And when all the hard work is done, you can head into Dublin’s nightlife to personally sample the local hospitality at its best around all the bars in town – the craic will be mighty!

From a personal point of view, I’m delighted to represent the Irish Society of Periodontology in mounting this event and to be in a position to contribute in a small way to the ongoing quest for knowledge in periodontics and particularly regeneration, the final frontier.

See you there!

View the Friday timetable here and the Saturday timetable here.

Declan Corcoran, chair of Perio Master Clinic 2020, studied in Dublin under Derry Shanley, the chief organiser of the first European Workshop in Periodontology. Professor Shanley’s enthusiasm for his subject inspired Declan to seek postgraduate education in the USA under the tutelage of the legendary Professor Tim O’Leary, at Indiana University Dental School.

‘Tim, along with his fellow traveller in periodontal research, Sig Ramfjord, brought a degree of sanity and calm to what was at the time a troubled sea in periodontal research,’ says Declan.

‘I was very fortunate to study under him. O’Leary’s pragmatic, calculating and honest approach to research has stayed with me all of my professional life.’

Declan represented Ireland at the first official executive meeting of the EFP in Amsterdam, where the original constitution was drafted and where the first Europerio congress was mooted.

He was EFP president from 2001 to 2002.